A Moment in History 967


Sometimes we do not know when small actions could have the most momentous effects. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand loved his wife, which was most unusual for a Hapsburg. She was not of royal blood and strict protocol meant she could not appear in public ceremonies with him in Vienna. Which is why he chose to undertake a royal visit to the obscure Serbian provincial city of Sarajevo for her birthday. The rest, as they say, is history.

AJP Taylor liked to list Franz Ferdinand’s love for his wife as a cause of the First World War, a reminder that history is the study of human beings. Of course the massive arms race between the imperial powers, and the nationalist and democratic forces acting on old heterogenous dynastic empires, lay at the root of the First World War. But Taylor’s absolutely correct point is that even the greatest store of paraffin will not ignite without a spark, and perhaps the spark may never come. I am with Taylor on this, against the rigid determinists.

The vast transfer of wealth from everybody else to the bankers in the great banking collapse, and the huge growth in wealth inequality and obscene concentrations of wealth in a tiny number of private hands, are the underlying causes of the collapse in old political party structures across the western democracies and the rise of insurgent politics in all its various forms, mostly under the careful control of the elite using all their media control to misdirect popular blame for mass poverty against immigrants.

There are however genuine examples of insurgent politics seeking to craft a fairer society in the UK, of which the SNP and Yes Movement in Scotland, and Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in England and Wales, are the most important examples.

Unusually for me, this article is addressed primarily to Corbyn supporters down in England and Wales. You don’t have to be an Austrian Archduke to stand at the moment when your own small actions can have profound, indeed historical ramifications. If just a few score less ordinary people had listened to and acted on Camille Desmoulins’ great speech as the revolutionary impulse teetered, the world might have been very different. Corbyn supporters are at that moment of historic decision right now – and mostly do not realise it.

Jeremy Corbyn represents the only realistic chance the people of England and Wales have been given in decades, to escape from the neo-liberal economics that have impoverished vast swathes of the population. But he leads a parliamentary party which is almost entirely comprised of hardline neo-liberal adherents.

The majority of the parliamentary Labour party are the people who brought in academy schools, high student tuition fees, PFI, who introduced more privatisation into the health service than the Tories have, and who brought you the Iraq and Afghan Wars. They abstained on the Tory austerity benefit cuts and on May’s “hostile environment” immigration legislation. They support Trident nuclear missiles. Many hanker after bombing Syria, and most are members of Labour Friends of Israel.

Even before the current disintegration of UK political structures, there was no way that these Labour MPs were ever going to support Corbyn in power in seeking to return the UK towards the mainstream of European social democracy. They have spent the last four years in undermining Corbyn at every turn and attempting to return Labour to the right wing political Establishment agenda. In the current fluid state of UK politics, with sections of Labour MPs already having split off and others threatening to, it is even more important that the very large majority of Labour MPs are replaced by people who genuinely support the views and principles for which Jeremy Corbyn stands.

Regrettably Labour MPs do not automatically have to run for reselection against other potential party candidates, but under one of those hideous compromises so beloved of Labour Party conferences, they have to notify their intention to again be the party’s candidate for the constituency, and there is then a very brief window of a couple of weeks in which local branches and trade union branches can register a contest and force a challenge.

That process has now been triggered and it is ESSENTIAL that every Labour Party member reading this blog acts NOW to try to get rid of those dreadful Blairite MPs. If you do not act, the historic moment will be missed and the chance to move England and Wales away from neo-liberalism may be permanently surrendered.

The right wing forces have the massive advantage of inertia. The local MP is very likely a crony of the chairs of the relevant local branch institutions and of the appropriate local trade union officials (and there is insufficient public understanding of the fact that historically the unions are very much a right wing force in Labour politics). I am willing to bet that in the vast number of constituencies local officials and MPs are pretty confident of getting through this without the large majority of their members – especially the vast new Corbyn supporting membership – even noticing that anything is happening.

Which is why you need to act. Phone the chair of your local constituency today and demand that they tell you how to go about forcing a reselection battle. Make sure that they give you the phone numbers for any local branches or institutions you have to go through. If you do not know the phone number for your local constituency chair, phone Labour HQ and get them to tell you. If you are a member of an affiliated trade union or organisation, take action there too

Do not be put off. Do not follow any instruction from anyone, not even Momentum, about MPs who ought not to be challenged. Politics is a dirty game and full of dirty deals. Use your own judgement. Certainly any of the Labour MPs who abstained on Tory welfare cuts, failed to oppose the “hostile environment” immigration policy or voted to bomb Syria must be subject to challenge. I would recommend that you challenge any Friend of Israel, given that Israel is now openly an apartheid state. Remember, you may be able to influence two constituencies – that where you live, and through your trade union branch that where you work.

Whether or not you are a Labour Party member (and remember I am not), please bring this article to the attention of any and every Labour Party member you know. Progress reports in the comments section would be extremely welcome, as would anyone willing to take the time to draw up “hit lists” based on the kind of criteria I outline above.

While the media are concentrated on the Tory shenanigans, it is the Labour Party members who have the chance to make choices which could have in the long term much more important effects upon society; if people act as I recommend, this could be a historic turning point. Otherwise it will just be one of those moments that passed, and the Corbyn insurgency a small footnote of might have been.

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967 thoughts on “A Moment in History

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    • Shatnersrug

      Momentum members are just labour left members, but they are literally leaving in their thousands. Watch lansman do a progress now and recruit centrists upper middle class graduates.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Shatnersrug June 29, 2019 at 23:32
        Have you got any links that Momentum members are leaving in thousands? I am not disputing it, it’s just that I haven’t heard anything about it.

    • Jo1

      SA
      I’ve said it before, here, I’ve never seen anything like this since my interest in politics began and that’s more than forty years ago.

      I’ve just listened to a ranter on LBC complaining that only a third of the PLP signed the letter. He was practically demanding that the other two thirds be disciplined for not signing it.

      • N_

        A fascist organisation is flexing its muscles: “kowtow in public without saying who we are, and while affirming that you love kowtowing to us, in exactly the way we tell you, or else your career is finished”. And the majority of “Labour” leaders are going “Yes! Do what you’re told, just as we do! Anyone who doesn’t needs a kicking!” It’s quite obvious, just as it’s obvious that emperors without any clothes on who walk past you are naked.

        Now imagine Britain has crashed out of the EU, nobody wants to buy sterling, food stocks are down to three days, war has been started against Iran, and the SNP has managed to stage a potato opportunity in Edinburgh with some “Russian” billionaire or other and his PR company, saltires and lion flags flapping in the wind. Meanwhile most members of the British and western population are largely illiterate, giving out written communications at a faster rate than the average person has ever done in the history of the world but without knowing what a sentence is or the difference between “your” and “you’re”. But they don’t have enjoy watching pornography and violence and playing mindrot fantasy games. Welcome to now. “I’ve never seen anything like this since my interest in politics began and that’s more than forty years ago”. You’ll see more. Add the crap that’s gone down labelled with the Twitter and smartphone-friendly term “Brexit”, which now dominates the political sphere – or as it might also be called, “the foreigner problem”. It’s obvious that a huge outpouring of genuinely popular and genuinely moronic far-right nationalistic anger is planned. Meanwhile most of the shambles that remains of the left hasn’t got the intelligence or guts even to understand why so many people voted for “Brexit” three years ago. Who would have guessed that “Momentum” is led by a member of the said fascist organisation, Jonathan Lansman.

        What are the filthy rich who have consciously manipulated these developments, this huge shift to the far right, going to do when the food runs out? They’re going to steal whatever’s not nailed down, that’s what, in such huge quantities as to make the food run out faster and for longer. Which part of the political spectrum will we then be able to look to for honesty, decency, clarity, tomorrow’s dinner, and a basic respect among non-exploitative human beings, which is to say, requirements that work against race war and not with the flow of it?

        If a general election is staged, I predict that more than 70% will vote for the far right, traditional right, and nationalists. Don’t expect those who desert Labour because Labour obviously can’t deliver on anything that’s left wing, to proceed to vote for anything that’s left wing or even for the “centrist” Liberal Democrats.

        • Republicofscotland

          “and the SNP has managed to stage a potato opportunity in Edinburgh with some ”

          I take it that Boris Johnson-esque comment is some sort of crude reference to those who died in the Potato famine. Why not be done with it and just call them turds as well.

          • BrianFujisan

            RoS

            That reminds me of the beautiful Choctaw Sculpture –

            breathtaking sculpture comprised of nine stainless steel eagle feathers that reach almost twenty-three feet towards the sky. Representing a bowl of food for the hungry, the piece evokes the story of how the Choctaw people came to the aid of the Irish in 1847 during that country’s Great Famine of 1845-1852. When Choctaws became aware of the famine, they gathered $170 (the equivalent of $4,400 today), and sent it across the Atlantic Ocean to help feed the starving nation of Ireland.

            https://www.stiglernews.com/news/sculpture-ireland-honors-choctaw-nation

          • Iain Stewart

            I think N_ may have meant a “photo opportunity”, which got mangled by the spelling widget in WordPress. (Otherwise it would have been something more subtly provocative to Caledonian sentiment, like a “porridge festival” no doubt, or something involving shortbread.) I’m sure I’m not the only one to be relieved that he seems to have changed his mind about stopping his entertaining contributions to the blog, as he threatened only a couple of days ago.

        • Kempe

          ” What are the filthy rich who have consciously manipulated these developments, this huge shift to the far right, going to do when the food runs out? ”

          They’ll have buggered off long before things get that bad, taking their ill gotten gains with them. It will have the beneficial effect of freeing up a lot of housing currently being kept unused as investments.

          ” But they don’t have enjoy watching pornography ”

          You were saying something about the population being illiterate?

          • giyane

            K empe
            Lots of us compose on mobiles that later de-compose what we have written. I’m at the limit of my ability to read the print contained in this 30 millimetre rectangle of deep intellectual intent.

            I’ve not yet found a remedy for blur, but the optical restrictions do encourage poetic brevity. And auto correct especially dislikes poetic ideas.

    • Goose

      Could they be preparing the ground for a Wilson?

      Journalist Jonathan Freedland wrote in 2006: The plot against Wilson was our Watergate.

      Someone, asking(telling) Corbyn to stand down as John Bolton allegedly did with Bustani, forcing him to quit as director-general of the OPCW

      This is why you need strength in numbers only open selection will bring : like-minded people who’ll replace anyone removed, so those that anti-democratic forces which operate behind layers of secrecy can’t be sure if they force someone out they’ll get someone more to suited to their needs.

  • Dave

    The problem is neither Con or Lab can promote the most popular option, a pragmatic compromise, to deliver Brexit because Con are too much for Leave and Lab too much for Remain. Corbyn supports the compromise, but politically it has to be offered by Con as he can’t promote it himself before a general election is called as the Remainers will be in uproar.

    The compromise is leave the political institutions and ever closer union (this stops Britain joining the Euro), leave the single market (this restores control of immigration) and remain in the customs union (this avoids a hard border in Ireland) and addresses the real or imagined threat to jobs and growth.

    • giyane

      Dave

      Please don’t swear. The words ” customs union ” we’re not originally conceived as swear-words three years ago. But in the course of the brexit discussion some bright spark in the Remain Party ( the Tories ) decided that the best auto deal with any unpleasantness was to embrace it fully and learn to love it. Now they are selling their wives for sex on facebook and embracing economic collapse with relish. Pressure is a privilege. Rah rah.

    • David

      Senile, frail, poor memory – repeating over and over again the same mistakes…. I for one welcome British Armed Forces day and salute all who sail in her…. hope you , British Armed Forces, recovery quickly from your endemic faults due presumably your extreme age, extreme lack of strategic foresight, extremely poor choice of the wrong allies etc etc according to senior whispered mandarin briefings /s

    • N_

      Someone has torn up the rulebook. In the emergency, “senior civil servants” are following orders coming in from a different direction than they ever expected.

      • N_

        Surely these cowardly “senior civil servants” are breaking civil service rules?

        Craig – what would have happened to you when you were in the civil service if you’d tried to undermine the Tory party by unattributably briefing a newspaper that you thought its leader was unfit to lead the country?

        The phrase “civil servants” may be being used as a euphemism for a particular bunch who work “south of the river”.

        If there were a functioning parliamentary democracy in Britain, Mark Sedwill, head of the civil service, would be dragged before a parliamentary committee and ordered to discover the identity of these “senior civil servants” who are involving themselves in politics, so that they can be jailed. And if it turned out that Sedwill was himself involved in the briefing, he would be jailed too. Got to wonder whether he’s kept up his contacts with the Community Security Trust that he presumably enjoyed when he was at the Home Office. C’mon, you b*stard, hand your address book over. You’ve heard of parliamentary sovereignty and civil service impartiality?

        The atmosphere will soon be akin to what it was in Russia in 1990-95, when “there were no rules”.

        • Jo1

          Yes.

          Even very junior civil servants are restricted in what they can say, politically, in public.

          • Ros Thorpe

            Or it’s possible the so called journalists made it up. Wouldn’t be the first time.

          • Jo1

            It’s absolutely possible Ros, but since it’s such a serious breach of CS protocol, Corbyn is bang on in writing to the head of the CS demanding a full investigation. (Bear in mind too that it’s possible journalists have been passed this stuff by some of these “moderates”. Personally I wouldn’t put anything past them but The Times shows, if that’s the case, just how far it’s fallen.)

    • Greg Park

      That is headlined because they are genuinely frightened he will become PM despite all the other smears they have invented. Only the most credulous could believe this healthy eating cyclist is less for than Theresa May or Boris Johnson.

      • Mary Pau!

        Agree it is because they are worried he might become PM. He should release a doctor’s report confirming he is in good health. Not that it should be necessary but to put paid to this sort of malicious rumour.

        • giyane

          And dye his hair orange.
          Just noticed this blog is partially orange. What about changing that to a nice Pictish blue?

        • nevermind

          Shaking hands with psychopath like MBS surely puts her into the crackpot list of has been’s who loved to shake bloody hands.
          Corbyn had a milkshake yesterday, that has got to be bad for his image, why the heck is he not drinking coffee like the rest of us.. Tut tut titttle tattle, just another little snipy snippet of nothingness.

        • Rod

          These political attacks on Mr Corbyn are promoted more by rightward leaning Labour MPs than the Conservatives; the Conservative press are a just a convenient vehicle to push an anti-Corbyn agenda by some of his own party MPs. They have been unrelenting since he became leader.

          Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt are concerned only with their own blind ambitions for the occupancy of 10 Downing Street. In truth, they both can’t see any further than that prospect; just to hold the premiership is all to them, if only for the briefest of periods. What the successful candidate will do with that power remains to be seen, but I suspect they will be as much at sea as Mrs May and if one thinks she was a poor prime minister just wait until one of these two has had a go.

  • Hatuey

    I find it impossible to take the anti-antisemitism stuff seriously. We all know that racism, sectarianism, antisemitism, and a bunch of other vile ideas are characteristics of the right, not the left.

    The English establishment is fearful that divisions in the Tory party will open the door for Corbyn and are determined to destroy him before it can happen. This is where the antisemitism agenda against Labour derives from, and we all know it.

    Corollary to that, they also fear that a Corbyn government would accept the democratic will of the Scottish people and allow an independence referendum.

    None of these concerns can be viewed in isolation. The English establishment is panicking.

    England is staring into a dark abyss, as the establishment sees it. They assume that England outside of the EU, without Scotland’s oil, is going to struggle to remain in the first world. England fears its own independence more than it fears Scotland’s.

    I think English culture is in need of a correction.

    A country that is proud of its racist imperialist crimes and not ashamed of them is a despicable country.

    A country that murders innocents in the second and third world for oil and arms contracts is morally bankrupt.

    A country that depends on providing black-market banking facilities to crooks and criminals for a living is utterly desperate.

    The world has had enough of these psychotic perverts.

    • Republicofscotland

      They’ll be Joanna Cherry, Alex Salmond accusations aimed at Corbyn before they let him become PM.

    • N_

      they also fear that a Corbyn government would accept the democratic will of the Scottish people and allow (a second) independence referendum.”

      When was that will expressed?

      • Hatuey

        The requirement for an independence referendum was in the 2015 SNP manifesto. It was famously specific in defining what would trigger an independence referendum and it’s noteworthy that you know nothing about it. In that 2015 General Election, the SNP won something like 54 of 57 seats at Westminster on that manifesto. They have also dominated Scottish elections since then on the same commitment and, despite what you read in the papers, they won the 2016 General Election resoundingly.

        • N_

          @Hatuey – I do know about it. What is noteworthy is that you confuse “the democratic will of the Scottish people” and what was written in a political party’s manifesto for the 2015 British general election (Scottish turnout 71%) in whichthe party failed to win a majority of votes cast. (It got slightly less than 50%.)

          In the Scottish general election of 2016 (turnout 56%) it failed by an even greater margin to win a majority of votes cast. (It got 46% of constituency votes and 42% of regional votes).

          How come you cite the British general election of 2015 but not the British general election of 2017 (Scottish turnout 66%), in which the said political party’s voteshare plummeted to 37%? Is 37% a democratic mandate? If you want to talk about seats even despite the fact that a referendum would be one person one vote, the party lost its majority of seats at Holyrood in that election.

          There is no democratic mandate for a second independence referendum. If the SNP wants to get one, it should call for a Scottish general election. What’s the problem? The problem is that it knows it will lose. And its leaders’ snouts are far too deep in the trough, given all their cushy numbers. They’d far prefer to whip up xenophobia among uneducated people and racists, coated in the idea that the foreign English stop them getting what they want, than actually seek a mandate from the country.

          Here’s another question: when was there any Scotland-wide election in which the SNP has ever won a majority of votes?

          Call for a Scottish general election. Make the referendum the party’s main manifesto policy. Watch what happens. Saying the English won’t let you is passive aggressive, dishonest, xenophobic, and racist.

          • N_

            Summary:

            2014 referendum: Yes 45%.
            2015 BGE: SNP (slightly less than) 50%, with differentially high turnout among the SNP’s own base, indoctrinated as they were with the idea of “we was robbed” and “we nearly won”
            2016 SGE: lower turnout in Scotland, as usual for a Scottish rather than a Britain-wide general election, and SNP voteshare still fell to 46% and 42%; and they lost their seat majority;
            2017: BGE: higher turnout, SNP voteshare plummeted to 37%

            But no doubt I’ve got all this from wets and moaning minnies and non-believers and Englishmen wearing cruel smiles whose forebears forced unwilling Scottish tobacco traders and slave traders to take a subordinate position in the “English empire”.

            The point remains that it is very easy to seek a mandate for a second independence referendum. Simply call for a Scottish general election. If the SNP wins a majority of votes in that election, then let’s have a second referendum. Deal?

            Meanwhile If my auntie were to become my uncle she’d have a pair of cobblers.

          • Hatuey

            there’s never been a requirement of 50%, not sure where that silly idea sprang from…

          • N_

            Address the point please, Hatuey, that you were mistaken to say there’s a democratic mandate in favour of a second referendum.

            Once there was someone on here who said that most Tory voters are in the London area. I realised her mind was a blazing mass of xenophobia and rabidly believed political lies (English = London = Tories) and provincial ignorance (English = London = People in Top Hats who Probably Know the Queen), and I took the time to show to her politely that what she had written was verifiably factually not so. She replied to indicate that she was going to continue to believe it because it was poetically truer than true.

            All nationalism is rabies. The proletarians have no country.

          • Hatuey

            N_, the example of the person who refused to accept the truth that you conjure up is only useful if we assume it represents you.

            The SNP has a triple democratic mandate. It won in the Holyrood election and it won in the Westminster election on a manifesto that proposed a referendum. Further to that, as RoS points out, the SNP succeeded in Holyrood to pass legislation calling for a second referendum.

            If you aren’t intellectually able to distinguish between national liberation movements and vile forms of nationalism, you are probably not worth talking to. No need to be alarmed, though, I’ve never met a “Marxist” who was.

    • SA

      This row also helps to cover up for the racism inherent in most of brexiters of the Brexit party ilk and is a diversion from the real dangers of fascism.

    • N_

      @Hatuey – “We all know that racism, sectarianism, antisemitism, and a bunch of other vile ideas are characteristics of the right, not the left. (…)

      Yes indeed.

      England is staring into a dark abyss, as the establishment sees it. They assume that England outside of the EU, without Scotland’s oil, is going to struggle to remain in the first world. England fears its own independence more than it fears Scotland’s.

      I think English culture is in need of a correction.

      A country that is proud of its racist imperialist crimes and not ashamed of them is a despicable country.

      I’ve never heard of an English empire. Take for example the Scottish slaveowners in the West Indies. Did “England” make them do it? Underneath, were they nicer than the English slaveowners with whom they shared an army and a navy? I’m all in favour of a lack of pride in past empires. Will the government of an independent Scotland be paying reparations?

      The world has had enough of these psychotic perverts.

      Better kill us all then.

      • Hatuey

        “I’ve never heard of an English empire.”

        Again, hardly surprising since you’re the mark as far as the propaganda goes. Americans don’t see their empire either. Of course, there are many others.

        Many Scots, of course, played a shameful part in all that. Many Indians did too, Chinese, Africans, etc. That’s how empires work; they co-opt those they conquer and others and shackle them to hideous goals.

        All colonising empires have done that, the Nazis, Mongols, Romans, etc. Every one. And in every conquered territory there are people who — faced with typically grim alternatives, or out of unbridled selfish greed — take part in the plunder.

        In Scotland though, to be fair to them, there’s an admission of guilt and shame. That’s as it should be. By contrast, in England the empire is more widely celebrated and defined as a source of pride.

    • Doodlebug

      “I find it impossible to take the anti-antisemitism stuff seriously”

      Neville Chamberlain had the same problem with warnings about Hitler.

      • N_

        The correct comparison is between those who unsuccessfully opposed Hitler in the 1930s and those who oppose the rising fascism today that is spearheaded through the agency of the rabid and ultra-racist organisation called Zionism. Anybody who supports Zionism and says they oppose fascism is a liar and a fascist.

        • J Galt

          What would you say about anyone who says they support Marxism but without all the locking up and mass killing that is part and parcel of it?

          • Ted

            I don’t recall Marx advocating locking up and mass killing. Maybe you can point out that section in the Communist Manifesto, say? On the other hand, capitalism has certainly done its fair share of both (WW1, WW2 etc) – and feudalism before it.

          • J Galt

            “there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated and that way is revolutionary terror” – Karl Marx 1848

          • Twirlip

            J Galt –

            If you have to distort Marx’s meaning by quoting a clause from a sentence as if it were the whole sentence, you can’t be very confident of your case.

            I’m not a Marxist myself, by the way. Nor do I even know very much about Marx, but I take it that this Web page, where the whole sentence may be found, is accurate:

            https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Karl_Marx.

          • J Galt

            Oh I think Marx was very plain in his meaning.

            “When our turn comes we shall not make excuses for the terror.”

            There’s a complete sentence for you.

            Give the man his due, he was nothing if not honest.

          • Twirlip

            I’ve tried and failed to find the original German text, just to check whether the sentence begins with wann, which only means “when”, or wenn, which can mean “when”, but can also mean “if”. (I’ve forgotten my schoolboy German, from more than 50 years ago, but I hope that’s right!) No variant English translation (at least none available on the Internet) seems to offer “if”; so the sentence you quote does seem to offer an unequivocal threat of terror.

          • George

            A fuller text of the Marx quotes:

            “The purposeless massacres perpetrated since the June and October events, the tedious offering of sacrifices since February and March, the very cannibalism of the counterrevolution will convince the nations that there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror.”

            And

            “We have no compassion and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror. But the royal terrorists, the terrorists by the grace of God and the law, are in practice brutal, disdainful, and mean, in theory cowardly, secretive, and deceitful, and in both respects disreputable.”

      • Laguerre

        So the Labour party are Nazis now, are they? That’s a bit rich, when it’s the populist far right that’s the problem today.

        • Doodlebug

          What leads you to that conclusion? The ‘anti-Semitism stuff’ alluded to by Hatuey is patently not a true manifestation of Labour/Left wing politics, on either side of the debate. Corbyn and Williamson are not anti-semites and those who are accusing them of such are following an agenda mapped out elsewhere. My comparison of Hatuey’s disregard of danger with Chamberlain’s was simply that. Chamberlain took Hitler’s ‘word’ more seriously than his actions. The latter’s political orientation is irrelevant.

    • Kempe

      Oh bless he still thinks it’s the 1990s and Scotland’s oil is a major economic force.

      In 2018 North Sea Oil revenue was £1.3 billion. That’s less than 1% of GDP: Scotland’s GDP that is. The previous year the revenue was negative.

      If you hadn’t noticed oil on it’s way to becoming a fuel of the past.

      • Republicofscotland

        Indeed oil/gas are still major economic contributors to a countries wealth.

        We have the Great Satan attempting to block Nord stream 2, overthrow a democratically elected president in Venezuela and install a puppet, to get their grubby sweaty manky hands on the state oil firm PDVSA.

        The pathetic attempt to depose Assad by the Great Satan and its kowtowing minions such as Britain had in part to to do with resources including oil.

        There will always be a demand for oil Norway has a humungus oil fund due to diligence, Britain has nothing because we’re led by greedy fat repulsive self serving b#stards.

        Your comments fooling no one.

        • Kempe

          Norway’s oil fund was built on past production. It’s too late for the UK or even an independent Scotland to build up such a fund because the glory days of north sea production are over. Production peaked in 1999 and it’s all downhill from there.

          Nord Stream 2 will handle 55 billion cubic metres of gas per year, Nord Stream one and two together will be capable of carrying 110 billion cubic metres.

          North Sea gas production is 11 billion cubic metres per year and falling. The UK has been a net importer of gas for two decades.

          Oil isn’t going to make Scotland rich. Forget it.

      • Jo1

        I’m sure you’re not ignorant regarding Scotland’s significant contribution to the UK Treasury so I’m going to assume you’re just trying to be irritating.

  • Trowbridge H Ford

    Don’t you love how Theresa May seized her moment in history by telling that brutal Saudi prince to show transparency in the Khashoggi murder when she has a /list of suxh killings and their cover ups like those of Gareth Williams, Gudrun Loftus, Steve Rawlings. the al-Hilliis etc. ad nauseam.

    Some politicians have incredible hubris.

  • SA

    It is now clear that freedom of speech is something of the past. Some topics are taboo and cannot be discussed as discussing them will lead to isolation and demonization. These topics are determined by a ruling elite and enforced through social media, paid trolls including some government funded organisations, MSM and now even the civil service. Soon of course the armed forces will come out openly to say they will not allow a Corbyn premiership. Also our ‘close allies’ have openly said that they will do everything possible to stop Corbyn, if he dares ‘run the gauntlet’. So now it seems the gloves are off.

  • Sharp Ears

    From ‘We Own It’ on one of Thatcher’s privatisations – our water supplies. Take action at the protests being held countrywide next Saturday, 6th July.

    Thatcher privatised our water 30 years ago. Time to take it back.
    28 June 2019
    https://weownit.org.uk/blog/thatcher-privatised-our-water-30-years-ago-time-take-it-back

    The previous CEO of Southern Water, Matthew Wright, left in December 2016. He was paid £873,000 which included a payment of £369,000 for loss of office. YCNMIU.

    The Guardian reported this last June.
    Water bosses’ £58m pay over last five years a ‘national scandal’
    GMB chief launches campaign to return England’s nine water firms to national ownership
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jun/05/water-companies-pay-national-scandal-gmb-union-says
    https://www.southernwater.co.uk/Media/Default/PDFs/SouthernWater_AnnualReport_2016_17.pdf
    A mere 194 pages for interested parties to wade through.

    • Northern

      Just one of many formerly public services being bled dry by private vampires. A Yorkshire Water engineer told me whilst doing some work outside my home a while ago that the whole system in our area is decades past being obsolete and loses millions of gallons annually, but Yorkshire Water are unwilling to countenance the cost of fixing the issue and so are simply content to continue making profits and fiddling with minor issues at the edge of the system to keep the ‘show on the road’ in the short term. It’s starting to seem like there’s a theme emerging.

  • SA

    Meanwhile the obvious charade that is the Tory leadership contest drags on for another 3 weeks or so. Why? Are those who are going to vote for our next PM on our behalf so dim that they need to hear the same people saying the same things before making up their mind? “I am an entrepreneur” says one, as if that qualifies him for being PM. Why not appoint Alan Sugar, Richard Branson or James Dyson, much more successful entrepreneurs than our ex failed health secretary? And the other one waffling on without making sense. Yes of course this is a tactic to spin this out till the summer recess so that then there will be insufficient time to kick them out before we de facto leave by default.
    And our lame duck PM strutting out telling off other leaders. Why, instead of castigating MBS, does she not stop selling him weapons to kill Yemenis? And Putin must be bewildered why this leaden faced person is talking so much piffle?

    • Goose

      Given the national crisis – and Brexit is a crisis, why haven’t they expedited the process to two weeks?

      I know ‘rules are rules’ , but really…

      This whole traveling circus of hustings with the quite frankly, ‘weird’ Hunt and clown BoJo looks like a silly indulgence given the gravity of the situation. Is anyone going to change their minds .

      If you want Brexit you’re going to vote ERG -backed BoJo and if you don’t, Remainer Rudd and Hammond backed Hunt.

      • Ken Kenn

        Is it due to the possibility of keeping Johnson out of parliament until as late as possible to the No Deal date?

        Let’s face it Johnson is going to be a disaster and this is what’s driving the frenzy of attacks on the Labour Party and particularly on Corbyn.

        It has a name and it’s called fear.

        The natural party off business and alleged financial accumen has lost the plot due to Brexit and as the membership indicates they would ditch the Union with Scotland and Northern Ireland and put up with the British economy being ruined in order to leave the EU.

        Interestingly (and tellingly) the one thing they don’t want is a Corbyn led government.

        Unfortunately around 60 plus Labour MPs are in agreement with the Tory membership.

        The CLPs have a chance to give their views on that up to the 8th of July.

        They should ditch the 60 where they can.

        The MSM of course will label that a ” purge ” and no doubt will weave anti semitism tall stories into the narrative for good measure.

        Be in no doubt – this is fear from those with a lot to lose.

    • MJ

      “there will be insufficient time to kick them out before we de facto leave by default”

      If an election was held on 31 October the two could happen simultaneously. An ideal scenario for Corbyn.

    • nevermind

      the longer this fascicle selection by 0.03% carries on, building up steam within the 99.7% of future victims of this serious delay tactics R US, the less time they have to moan and mouth off at EU officials before they leave, saying that they all want a deal has become boring rhetoric.
      The EU has just negotiated a trade deal with South American countries which will see its consumer base increased by 800 million people, its not a good time for Liam Foxey’s attempts to get a small slice here and there.
      Still no details of how we would trade under WTO rules, together with Afghanistan, what fun to come.

  • Ingwe

    Just listening to the corpulent BBC Africa communiqué reader Alistair Leifhead on ‘From our Own Correspondent’ justifying his unpopular reportage on the often heard (on the BBC) basis that because he is criticised equally, by both sides of the argument, he must be ‘right’. Yes, only if you act in a moral vacuum.

    Supposing someone reported in 1943 that the mass murder of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and communists was ‘quite a bad thing’ and he/she was then criticised by equal numbers of Nazis (who believed it is a good thing) and others who believed it was a terrible thing, then by Leifhead’s argument his reportage would be correct. What palpable bullshit.

    It was the same as the BBC’s appalling coverage of apartheid. They attempted to put the ‘fulcrum’ of the debate in some notional middle as if the proponents of apartheid had the same moral vantage as those opposed it it. Ditto its coverage of Israel and its morally repugnant policies.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Ingwe,

      You say:-

      ” in some notional middle as if the proponents of apartheid had the same moral vantage as those opposed it it. Ditto its coverage of Israel and its morally repugnant policies.”

      So, a question for you. Craig Murray not that long ago got into legal trouble over the question of anti-Semitism. Right.
      But, as you have said above and as one with an iota of political intelligence, the criticism of misconduct by the state of Israel directed against the Palestinians ( e.g. going beyond the 1967 border; creating this wall like Bantustans under Apartheid; shooting civilians; denying necessary social services; violating the original concept under international law regarding the status of East Jerusalem etc.) – if pointed out in a factual manner – then such obervations raise the cry – “He/she – the commentator is racist). Further, thus I ask:-

      Is it actually racist if one were to question of Jews – do a majority of Jews identify with Zionism?

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Ingwe,

        Sorry:-

        ” and as one with an iota of political intelligence,”

        Obviously you are one with “more than..and as one with an iota of political intelligence,”

      • Ingwe

        @Courtney Barnett-thank you for crediting me with an iota of intelligence.

        Now to your question. No, it is not racist to ask Jews whether the majority are Zionist. Zionism is a 19th century political ideology and Judaism is a religion. It is not a necessary condition of Jewishness to be a Zionist.

        Whether the majority of Jews are zionists is an empirical exercise that would involve asking all Jews whether or not they are zionists. The fact that more Jews do not live in Israel than do suggests that the majority of Jews see the countries in which they live as their homeland rather than Israel. I am Jewish but abhor the racist ideology that is is zionism and which has subjected the entire Palestinian population to the cruelty and indignity in which they exist. Israel’s policies are responsible and for that reason condemnation of Israelis (as opposed to the state of Israel) is rejected. It is the policies which are awful and not the fact that those who prosecute them may or may not be Israeli and/or Jewish. It is zionists who, for obvious reasons, conflate Jew with Israel. That way they can obviate any criticism of Israel’s apartheid policy as being anti-Semitic.

        Israel’s racist, fascistic, inhuman policies should be called out for what they are whenever and wherever. It is a shame that Corbyn and others in the Labour Party so fear the zionist lobby that they remain silent in the face of the smear tactics used against Williamson, Wilsman, Walker, Livingston, Greenstein, et al. If they really think that their gutless appeasement will end the bullshit levelled against them, then their naïveté is matched only by their stupidity.

        • Courtenay Barnett

          Ingwe,

          Wouldn’t argue with you on what you have said – said.

          Guess you have quite a bit more ” political intelligence” on the subject of Israel – than do I.

        • Doodlebug

          Thank you for your forthright assessment, which must be considered more authoritative than many. You clearly have more integrity than those in the public eye, who claim to speak for the Jewish diaspora when bandying about their spurious accusations. Tragically, any backlash is likely to be at ground level, and misdirected, whereas those on the international stage will skirt the issue as always.

    • Tom

      Plus, one of the tactics of the right-wing is to falsely claim they are the victims of bias. The Brexit brigade do it all the time. Just because both sides are claiming bias doesn’t mean they are both right.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Ingwe June 29, 2019 at 11:57
      At least if we are trading with Afghanistan, we’ll be able to smoke away our troubles.

    • Laguerre

      The Queen may be keen on the Union – it evidently has many advantages for her. She can play the Scottish aristocrat at Balmoral, for example. The rest of the Kingdom may not be so enthusiastic.

    • jake

      I’m confused…are you saying Scotland is indivisible, or, that the United Kingdom is indivisible?
      Your link doesn’t clarify.

  • remember kronstadt

    Vladimir Putin: Listen,all this fuss about spies and counter-spies, it is not worth serious interstate relations. This spy story, as we say, it is not worth five kopecks. Or even five pounds, for that matter. And the issues concerning interstate relations, they are measured in billions and the fate of millions of people. How can we compare one with the other?

    The list of accusations and allegations against one another could go on and on. They say, “You poisoned the Skripals.” Firstly, this must be proved.

    Secondly, the average person listens and says, “Who are these Skripals?” And it turns out that Skripal was engaged in espionage against us [Russia]. So this person asks the next question, “Why did you spy on us using Skripal? Maybe you should not have done that?” You know, these questions are infinite. We need to just leave it alone and let security agencies deal with it.

    But we know that businesses in the United Kingdom (by the way, I had a meeting with our British colleagues in this same room), they want to work with us, they are working with us and intend to continue doing so. And we support this intent.

    I think that Mrs May, despite her resignation, could not help but be concerned that these spy scandals made our relations reach a deadlock so we could not develop our ties normally and support business people, who are doing what? They do not only earn money, this is what is on the outside. They create jobs and added value, plus they provide revenue at all levels of the tax system of their countries. This is a serious and multifaceted job, with the same risks you mentioned, including risks related to business operations. And if we add an unpredictable political situation, they will not be able to work at all.

    I think that both Russia and the United Kingdom are interested in fully restoring our relations. At least I hope that a few preliminary steps will be made. I think it would be easier for Mrs May, maybe, because she is leaving and is free to do what she thinks is right, important and necessary and not to bother about some domestic political consequences.

    Lionel Barber: Some people might say that a human life is worth more than five pennies. But do you believe, Mr President that whatever happened…

    Vladimir Putin: Did anybody die?

    Lionel Barber: Oh yes. The gentleman who had a drug problem and he died after touching the Novichok in the car park. I mean somebody did that because of the perfume. It was more than one person that died, not the Skripals. I am just…

    Vladimir Putin: And you think this is absolutely Russia’s fault?

    Lionel Barber: I did not say that. I said somebody died.

    Vladimir Putin: You did not say that, but if it has nothing to do with Russia… Yes, a man died, and that is a tragedy, I agree. But what do we have to do with it?

    Lionel Barber: Let me just ask this and I really want to talk about the Russian economy. Do you believe that what happened in Salisbury sent an unambiguous message to anyone who is thinking of betraying the Russian state that it is fair game?

    Vladimir Putin: As a matter of fact, treason is the gravest crime possible and traitors must be punished. I am not saying that the Salisbury incident is the way to do it. Not at all. But traitors must be punished.

    This gentleman, Skripal, had already been punished. He was arrested, sentenced and then served time in prison. He received his punishment. For that matter, he was off the radar. Why would anybody be interested in him? He got punished. He was detained, arrested, sentenced and then spent five years in prison. Then he was released and that was it.

    As concerns treason, of course, it must be punishable. It is the most despicable crime that one can imagine.

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60836

    • Crispa

      All the stuff and nonsense aired at the G20 between May and Putin is just propaganda to enable May to finish with a bit of a bang rather than a whimper. It means nothing at all except that the Russians are interpreting the meeting as a first step to improving business relations post Brexit which Putin also touched on in his FT interview. Which would make sense.

    • Goose

      On the subject of Corbyn, did you see the most recent PMQs on Yemen, with May saying the Houthis must be defeated in Yemen.

      Not all Shia support them, but over 45% of the population are Shia, how on earth are they going to totally defeat them other than through genocide? It’s a very febrile complex situation in Yemen, as hot as the weather in Sana’a. The west really shouldn’t be taking sides in a civil war based solely on arms sales to the Sunni-supporting Saudis.

      They’ve had various Presidents in exile and the democratic legitimacy arguments are questionable when its the undemocratic KSA throwing military weight around.

      Look at Bahrain as well, where the Saudis sent troops to prop up a Sunni monarchy,and suppress the majority calling for democracy, who happen to be Shia.

      Craig could do this subject better justice.

      • SA

        May thinks that Britain having a base in Bahrain is really of no consequence as the Bahrainis are footing the bill. I thought that that is how mercenaries work. Is the Royal navy for hire by the highest bidder?

        • Goose

          Everything is framed in the context of curtailing Iran’s ‘influence’ in the region: Iraq, Syria; Yemen, Bahrain all about pushing Shia Iran influence back.

          But they should have thought about that before invading and regime changing the Sunni Ba’ath Party minority that ruled Iraq. Israel and KSA completely agree on this objective, that’s why all the current tensions could result in a major war led by the US and John Bolton’s urgings. If Iran is ever smashed who do KSA think Israel will turn their attention to next?

        • Trowbridge H Ford

          Amazing how many UK bases are either in Englad or overseas. leaving Scotland without any forces back home if an independent Scotland needed them. England would conquer Scotland within a matter of days, The English Amy regiments and the RAF would have no trouble in sub doing the runaway province.

        • Goose

          We have a huge listening base in Oman that barely anyone in parliament knew about until Snowden’s revelations.

          Literally, it’s as though on one side there is the political world comprised of the HoC – it being a glorified talking shop kept largely in the dark and quite happy about being kept in the dark. And then another world comprised of the FCO, intel community and MoD. The two worlds have little to do with each other and the HoC little input or oversight on the latter.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Goose June 29, 2019 at 17:32
            ‘…Literally, it’s as though on one side there is the political world comprised of the HoC – it being a glorified talking shop kept largely in the dark and quite happy about being kept in the dark. And then another world comprised of the FCO, intel community and MoD. The two worlds have little to do with each other and the HoC little input or oversight on the latter…’
            Just as in the buildup towards WWI from around 1905 (Asquith and Sir Edward Grey had colluded with Lord Rosebery as far back as 1890) till the kick-off. In the end it was the Foreign Office, War Office and Chancellor of the Exchequer that were ‘imposed’ on Campbell-Bannerman’s ‘Liberal’ government, and the Committee of Imperial Defense had been assured to the plotters for years.
            That this sort of thing still continues behind the scenes is almost inevitable.
            Not for nothing does the Speaker repeatedly call out ‘Ordure’. It’s a wonder half of them don’t have pegs on their noses, but years with their snouts in the trough has dulled most MP’s olfactory senses.

          • Goose

            Israel and KSA’s blossoming friendship, plus MBS and Kushner’s close relationship must seem bizarre to most of the so-called Arab street – the populace in the Arab nations.

            But it appears to be an ‘enemy of my enemy’ type friendship of convenience. KSA and Israel share a detestation of Iran. This Saudi warmness to Israel is a very recent development . Saudi has a long history of being very anti-Israel and pro-Palestine, it’s hard to believe this friendship can last beyond whatever happens with Iran, if anything. And I say ‘if anything’ because Iran is no walk in the park militarily or politically for the western leaders with populations that feel almost ready to revolt.

          • SA

            Goose
            MBS is just enjoying being one of the elite rulers of the world, whatever it takes. The fact that he is the epitome of a dictatorship does not deter the democracy loving, rule of law hypocrisy of May, Trump and others.

          • Goose

            Unlike Saudi Arabia people in the US get to vote in 2020.

            If there is a US administration change and I can’t see Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders having MBS or Netanyahu on speed dial.

    • Tatyana

      Mr. Lionel Barber’s strange way to make assumptions and to draw conclusions!

      Putin says: This story it is not worth five kopecks…
      They say, “You poisoned the Skripals.” Firstly, this must be proved.
      Barber replies: human life is worth more than five pennies.
      Putin: Did anybody die?
      Barber: Oh yes. The gentleman who had a drug problem
      Putin: And you think this is absolutely Russia’s fault?
      Lionel Barber: I did not say that. I said somebody died.
      Vladimir Putin: But what do we have to do with it?
      Lionel Barber: Let me just ask this and I really want to talk about the Russian economy.

      What??? What was it, Mr. Barber? What is your point? I cannot understand.

      Putin clearly states that the story is cheap, you must prove it before you let that cheapie influence the interstate relationship. Instead of a specific answer, Mr. Barber refers to the same spy story that Putin actually reproached for the lack of proof!

      Dirty trick is to catch the opponent’s phrase about 5 kopeks and to reply with the ‘value of human life’. He uses the same word “worth” to make the answer sound relevant, the word covers the lack of logical connection.

      Look, how he builds his phrase:
      – Some people might say that a human life is worth more than five pennies. But do you believe, Mr President that whatever happened…
      people – say – human life – worth more than 5 pennies – BUT DO YOU BELIEVE – mr. president – whatever

      I think I can expect more articles by Mr. Barber alluding that Putin does not value human life more than 5 kopeks. And more people would agree with him.

      • Goose

        If Sergei and Yulia were the only victims the story would have faded away quickly because nobody died.

        To put it crudely, most EU diplomats who the UK are trying impress upon the need to maintain Russian sanctions upon, would have simply said, former spy who didn’t die so what?

        Plus the claim it was a quote : ” a deadly nerve agent” would have drawn sniggers with Sergei and Yulia very much alive.

        There had to be something else.

      • cimarrón

        Weasel words from Mrs May –

        May to press Putin over Novichok attack in face-to-face meeting
        British PM will reiterate determination to bring suspects to justice when she meets Russian president

        “We believe that obviously we have identified the evidence, we have identified two individuals, we believe that they should be brought to justice,” she added.

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/28/may-to-press-putin-over-novichok-attack-in-face-to-face-meeting

  • Sharp Ears

    Corbyn is having none of this latest backbiting.

    Jeremy Corbyn criticises civil servants over frail health claims
    Labour leader questions role of service after officials suggest he may have to stand down
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/29/labour-hits-back-at-reports-of-frail-jeremy-corbyn-health

    Who are these ‘mandarins’? I have heard of mandarin oranges and ducks but not ‘civil servants’ who are obviously following instructions from on high.

    [A mandarin (Chinese: 官; pinyin: guān) was a bureaucrat scholar in the government of imperial China, Korea and Vietnam.
    The term is generally applied to the officials appointed through the imperial examination system; it sometimes includes and sometimes excludes the eunuchs also involved in the governance of the two realms.]

    • Steph

      This is the way it goes now, every time. Media headlines a spurious anti-Corbyn claim, in this particular case ‘questions’ about Corbyn’s health and fitness. Next they report ‘Corbyn denies claims’, insinuating that he could be lying about the spurious claim as well. Then they will start to talk about ‘the controversy surrounding’ the claim, establishing the original spurious claim as a fact about which there is widespread disagreement. Finally the whole thing will be given endless air time on everything from the Marr show to Jeremy Vine. They can keep complete nonsense in the news for weeks like this. However it is a little disconcerting that they have commenced ‘smearing’ Corbyn’s actual health now. You have to wonder where that is going to lead. Is ‘something’ going to happen to him and everyone will then just shrug and say ‘well he wasn’t well was he?’ Scary stuff.

      • michael norton

        Mr Corbyn has called it “a farrago of nonsense” and “tittle tattle”.

        He said the briefing of a newspaper by senior officials against a politician “should be very concerning” to people.

        “The civil service has to be independent,” he said, adding: “It has to be non-political and has to be non-judgemental of the politicians they have a duty to serve.

        “I would make that very clear if we were elected to government.”

        Mr Corbyn, who was at an event to mark Armed Forces Day, added: “I am a very fit, healthy active person. I love what I do and I love my community and love being outdoors.”
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48813656

        Mrs. May is an injecting diabetic, Mrs. Merkel can’t stop shaking.
        In comparrison, J.C. seems as fit as a flea.

        • Tatyana

          Michael, you may be interested in russians’ reaction to the tremor of Mrs. Merkel. As you can guess it started a flow of jokes, especially regarding that the last attack occurred in the presence of the Ukrainian President.
          The incident with the former president Poroshenko and a soldier
          https://s00.yaplakal.com/pics/pics_original/7/3/5/3369537.jpg
          Perhaps Zelensky learned the trick from his predecessor 🙂

          I must say here in Russia we like Mrs. Merkel. I wish her good health.

          • Goose

            Putin slipped something in her spritzer? Highly unlikely.

            Merkel has stood to huge, unfair US interference and pressure on Germany over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline so I imagine Putin really does respect her.

          • Goose

            The current US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has been a really controversial figure.

            Often issuing what many Germans have viewed as threats and ultimatums over both Nord Stream 2 and the JCPOA and specifically, attempts by German companies to get around so-called secondary sanctions. I think secondary sanctions are absolutely outrageous btw. it’s one thing for the US to cease trading, another to punish other countries. It’s kind of like a claim of extraterritorial economic and political jurisdiction over the whole world.

          • Tatyana

            I respect her for her refusal to join USA, UK and France when they bombed Syria on false pretext of chemical attack.

            Goose, consider the idea – when Merkel was shaking, Putin was nowhere around 🙂 but there were Steinmeier (1st time) and Zelensky (2nd time), and these two are in close contact with Poroshenko! 🙂

          • Goose

            Yes, but Merkel is retiring soon. I too wish her good health to add

            I don’t seriously suspect any foul play here tbh.

            The first question to ask if you were to speculate on such a thing, would involve motive?

            Does her successor AKK, plan on scrapping Nord Stream 2 project, do you know?

          • Tatyana

            Well, not, I even don’t know who is Mrs. Merkel’s successor 🙂

            What I know for sure is that Russia is not a gold coin, to please everyone. We can do on our own and we are used to international disapproval since I don’t remember when.

            What is good about the Nord Stream-2 is that our German partner will have quite tangible benefits 1. good money, 2. diversity of energy supply, 3. reducing risks of the unpredictable Ukraine. Mutual benefits make reliable partnership.
            And let the politicians tear up their mouths with hateful speeches, but the houses will be warm and the factories will work.

          • Goose

            Tatyana

            You can bet Merkel has very good medical support : full blood tests and toxicology reports etc to see what’s ailing her.

            It’d be idiotic for any state to do such a thing to any political figure, that’s what i think it highly unlikely foul play is involved.

            As for Germany’s lack of involvement in the Douma response. Germany traditionally stays fairly quiet & neutral in all such matters.

          • Goose

            Ukraine and the US both deplore the decision to go ahead with Nord Stream 2.

            This isn’t a secret, they are both quite open about it. The US wants to really keep the sanctions on Russia and Ukraine has been siphoning off Russian gas from the current pipeline and fears having the gas turned off.

          • Tatyana

            well, Ukraine can take as much gas as it wants, it’s good as long as they pay for it. If no cheating, if no stealing, if no constant begging for preferences – who would object to good business? yet regarding the ukrainian gas system already exists and new expensive Nord Stream-2 construction would be not necessary.

            Would you like your business partner say “hey, you know, I’ve just realised I don’t like you, so I will not pay, and I will play dirty tricks on you, and your pre-paid goods I will not deliver to the third party”
            I’m curious how long would you try to keep a relationship with a partner like that? It is obvious, exactly until you find a new partner and adjust the logistics.

          • Goose

            Absolutely, I agree.

            And can you imagine were a country the US was in dispute with, and it were their US gas they were stealing.

            The US never examines things by looking at things from any other country’s perspective, in this case Russia’s. Russia has every right to look for alternate routes for for the gas it supplies to EU countries.

          • Tatyana

            A short background, follow my hands 🙂
            Back in 2010 Medvedev and Yanukovich signed a treaty, extending the Russian lease of the Crimea for the Black Sea fleet starting 2017 and lasting for another 25 years, with an increase in prices. Simultaneously the price of russian gas for the Ukraine should be discounted at 30%.
            Ukrainian way to the European trading system was not very smooth, so they asked to start applying discounts now. Russia granted this, plus special discount for Ukrainian chemical industry, plus special emergency discount for 3 months and 3 billion USD loan in December 2013.
            Still the Ukraine could not pay.
            Then they had Maidan, threw off Yanukovych and the Crimea left to Russia.
            In April 2014 Putin sent a letter to 18 european leaders, consumers of russian gas, about Ukrainian debt and asked for a joint effort to settle the case.

            I’ve just digged this video for you, Goose, that is how the US sees the problem 🙂
            April 10, 2014
            https://youtu.be/yU5Nf6xcHEA?t=1593

            Remarkable is the question by Matt Lee – why can’t the russians charge the price they want? The answer again refers to the agreement due to which the debt arose. I doubt it is a logic fallacy, I think this woman is openly lying. Ms. Psaki does not mention that the future-to-be discount has already been used in advance, and the term of the 25-year lease would have started only in 2017, in case if the Crimea remained in the Ukraine.

        • Sharp Ears

          Is Nigel Farrage just a farrago?

          Sorry. The hot weather is getting to me. The temperature was up to 34C here today and the humidity will rise to 80% in the early hours.

      • Sharp Ears

        I agree with what you say. It is telling that the original ‘story’ was carried by Murdoch’s Times.

        Times investigation
        Jeremy Corbyn too frail to be PM, fears civil service
        Concern Labour leader ‘propped up’ by advisers
        Rachel Sylvester | Alice Thomson | Steven Swinford, Deputy Political Editor
        June 28 2019, 10:00pm,
        https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/jeremy-corbyn-too-frail-to-be-pm-fears-civil-service-9398m903t

        Note that it took three of them to concoct the rot.

        Thomson used to be a trustee of the right wing think tank Policy Exchange, founded by Gove, Maude and Boles. A nest – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policy_Exchange
        Sylvester is married to Wintour, diplomatic editor of the Guardian.
        Swinford left the Barclay Brothers’ Torygraph to join Murdoch’s Times in March. The previous incumbent of the Times job, Sam Coates, left to join Murdoch’s Sky News.

        https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/times-deputy-political-editor-sam-coates-moves-to-sky-news/ It’s like a game of Chinese Chequers.

        • Steph

          But they’re not actual journalists, by any stretch of the imagination, are they? Just troughers and propaganda pushers. Normally I just ignore the whole distasteful bunch of them, but if Corbyn suddenly starts to lose his marbles or gets knocked off his bicycle by a bus we will all know exactly what happened won’t we. Although I don’t think the PTB care if we know or not really, its just that they get a childlike enjoyment from playing cloak and dagger games.

        • Goose

          Ingwe

          If Corbyn & S. Milne think he(Corbyn) can hold the views he holds and not have deep state enemies then he’s a fool.

          Of course they should leave him alone and let democracy play out, but that assumes these enemies are democrats.

          Corbyn, should have concentrated on changing the Labour party into one in his own image as Blair did, and made sure anyone thinking of removing him would see another would pop up in his place we’ve even more radical views.

  • Dave

    The “anti-Semitism” row isn’t about “anti-Semitism” its about who’s in charge. It could be called the “who are you looking at” row, a stand-off between competing groups, but mostly deployed by one side against the other, with the other side merely refuting the accusation and apologising for any offence caused, but as can be seen by Hodge, its driven by the ancestral madness and cannot be reasoned with or placated.

    • Doodlebug

      The epithet ‘ancestral’ itself opens up a can of worms. An Israeli academic has invested time and effort (grant funded no doubt) into a search for evidence that a substantial corpus of asiatics (Khazars) converted to Judaism in the 9th/10th century and claims to have found none. Therefore they did not. https://new.huji.ac.il/en/article/22007

      Leaving aside the dictum that ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’, one has to wonder why the religious conversion of a subordinate people (subordinate to Russia at the time) should be of such importance as to require study, of this aspect of antiquity in particular. Who cares? Obviously the audience for the original research paper, and the article(s) it has since spawned.

      It is tempting to compare the endeavour with early 20th c. archaeology aimed at verifying the mythical Aryan origin of a central European people.

      • Tatyana

        I’m surprised that Khazars were subordinates to Russia 🙂
        This nomadic Turkic-speaking tribe constantly raided the Slavic tribes, until the Slavs called the Varangians and those imposed tribute to the Khazars and challenged the hegemony of the Khazars over the Slavic tribes.

        • Doodlebug

          I bow to your superior, dare I say local, knowledge. I thought I had read somewhere that the Khazars were assimilated into the Russian empire. Perhaps I misread or misunderstood – either is possible. In any event the point I wished to make is not affected by the exact nature of the relationship between the Khazars and neighbouring peoples, which is the underlying significance of a substantial corpus of ultimately East Europeans having becoming Jewish by dint of conversion, if indeed such a shift took place. Thank you anyway for your correction.

          • Tatyana

            The Khazars were assimilated into the Golden Horde, and this was another centuries-old yoke for the Slavs. The Khazars were muslims, christians and judaics. The latter are belived to be ‘modern’ karajlar of Litva and Western Ukraine, kirimchahlar of Crimea and jewhur of Dagestan.
            —-
            The ground for your mistake is porobably the fact that the Slavic and Finnish tribes hired a defense from the Varangians, that is literally – asked a viking prince to rule in slavic land, paying the tribute. It is from that point that Russia started as a state with Ruric (in contrast to the scattered tribes)

          • Doodlebug

            @Tatyana

            Thank you for the additional detail. There is considerably more to be discovered in Wikipediia. The most salient for present purposes being:-

            “The ruling elite of the Khazars was said by Judah Halevi and Abraham ibn Daud to have converted to Rabbinic Judaism in the 8th century,”

            and

            “In the Russian chronicle the vanquishing of the Khazar traditions is associated with Vladimir’s conversion in 986.[141] According to the Primary Chronicle, in 986 Khazar Jews were present at Vladimir’s disputation to decide on the prospective religion of the Kievan Rus’…..Conversion to one of the faiths of the people of Scripture was a precondition to any peace treaty with the Arabs, whose Bulgar envoys had arrived in Kiev after 985.”

          • Tatyana

            Doodlebug, thank you, you’ve brought a very interesting problem and made me dig into the Wiki.

            So, that konung Hrorek (князь Рюрик) was invited by finnish, slavic and baltic tribes to rule over them. Hrorek came together with his people named ‘rus’ or ‘rhos’ and founded his dinasty.
            His son Igor (Ingwer) had a wife Olga (Helga), who was the first to convert into Christianity. Helga’s grandson Vladimir converted the Kievan Rus into christianity.

            By legend, Vladimir refused islam, because it forbids alcohol 🙂 He didn’t like fasting in catholicism. The Khazar Jews offered Vladimir to convert to Judaism. Knowing that Khazaria was defeated by his father Svyatoslav, he asked where is their land. The Khazars were forced to admit that they do not have their own land – God scattered them to other countries. Vladimir refused Judaism.

            The russians decided to ally with the remnant of the Great Roman Empire, so they became orthodox christians of the Greek order and Vladimir married to a Byzantyne princess Anna.

          • Doodlebug

            @Tatyana

            At this rate I shall learn more about the ancient tribes of Eastern Europe than I know about those of the land we now call England (which I confess is not a great deal).

            The statement by the Khazars about their not having their own land and being scattered by God is intriguing. It makes one wonder whether such a belief was intrinsically theirs, or introduced with the mythology of the Judaism to which they were converted, i.e., was that an eternal belief, so to speak, or did it come with the package? (not a question I am expecting you to answer by the way).

          • Tatyana

            @Doodlebug
            re. ancient tribes of Eastern Europe and England:
            Study of russian DNA in Y-chromosome (inherited through the paternal line) shows that we have 99.7% the same genes as the rest of the population of the Western Eurasia. Mitochondrial DNA (inherited through the maternal line) says we are pan-Europeans, but only 2% of this type of genes are Eastern Eurasian.
            It is an unexpected result, I supposed we mixed with asian and mongolian people.

            More, the study of HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigens) says there are Nothern, Central and Southern types in the Europe. Russians are in the Nothern group, together with Finns, Dutch, Danes, Germans, Irish and English.
            This means that our immune system works the same way and we can be good donors for each other, but less probably sexual partners 🙂 because females tend to mate with males with differing HLA type.
            In short, we are genetically brothers and sisters more then husbands and wives 🙂

            as to “… was that an eternal belief, so to speak, or did it come with the package?”
            It’s hard to imagine that a bunch of Turkic tribes would suddenly truly believe that they are the descendants of Israel and that their ancestors made the Covenant with God.
            All the peoples on this planet were pagans, most natural mythology is always about biological well-being. Worshiping sun that gives light and warmth, worshiping rivers that give water, worshiping flora and fauna that gives food, asking for fertility etc etc. Monotheisms came later. Joining this or that mono-religion is geopolitics, of course. We’ve just seen this in the example of the Russians.
            Russian Wiki says:
            originally the Khazars were the part of the Turkic Khaganate, pagans. It disintegrated, and the Khazars founded their own khaganate. On their territory there were Jewish communities. One of the kagans (named Bulan) decided to convert to Judaism.
            *Ha ha 🙂 the same legend! The leaders of Byzantine and Caliphate sent their priests, but Bulan organized a dispute between them and at the end the priests agreed that Judaism is better 🙂

          • Doodlebug

            @Tatyana

            Thank you once again. Fascinating stuff.

            “females tend to mate with males with differing HLA type.”

            That doesn’t appear to have done my Spanish wife any favours. She’s always catching colds (which actually supports your observation about immune systems. Hers is clearly not calibrated to resist English germs). The advantage is of course expressed in the genetic diversity of our offspring.

            “It’s hard to imagine that a bunch of Turkic tribes would suddenly truly believe that they are the descendants of Israel and that their ancestors made the Covenant with God.”

            Quite. One should never under-estimate the power of propaganda however.

            Persistence of the conversion legend is interesting. I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that Ashkenazi Jews have Khazar ancestry (hence attempts to prove, via a circuitous route, they do not). Curiously, to me at any rate, the surname Ashkenazy would suggest there is a connection, otherwise what is the surname doing attached to a Russian?

            This is a rather polemical issue I’m afraid, but then anything that touches on Israel is deemed polemical nowadays.

          • `

            yes, proves right in my case too. I’m more of a south type, my paternal and maternal ancestors are from the Black Sea region, definetely used to much sun. And my husband is a kind of northern type, with Finno-Ugric tribes ancestry of the Arkhangelsk region. Doesn’t like staying in the sun at all 🙂
            —-
            Russian Wiki says:
            Dr. Eran Elhaik argues that it were the natives of the Khazars, not the Jews of the Rhine communities, who were the basis for the formation of a sub-ethnic group of ashkenazes.
            critics:
            “He’s just wrong,” says Marcus Feldman of Stanford University, a leading researcher in the field of Jewish genetics. “If you take a thorough genetic analysis of the population that has been conducted over the last 15 years … there is no doubt about the prevalence of middle Eastern origin.”
            “This is an unrealistic premise,” says Michael Hammer, the University of Arizona geneticist, one of the world’s best researchers on the Y-chromosome.
            Geneticist Razib Khan accused the researcher of selective use of the results and their adjustment to a pre-invented conclusion, at the same time noting: “it is not surprising that we will find a small but significant Khazar contribution to the Jewish gene pool”.
            —-
            I don’t know why some topics may be considered as polemical or even anti-semite, you people in the West have some strange understanding of it 🙂 In Russia it is OK to discuss history

          • Doodlebug

            @Tatyana

            Thanks yet again. Your quotes from ‘Russian Wiki’ themselves illustrate the contentious nature of the subject.

  • mike

    If any more proof were needed, Frailgate proves beyond doubt that Centrists are batshit crazy.

    • Goose

      These centrists couldn’t win a raffle if they bought all the tickets.

      Without Corbynism the Labour party would be politically dead already, it would have gone backwards on the 30% Miliband got in 2015.

      Absolutely no understanding how stuff ‘really’ works.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Goose:
        The centerists may think that destroying the Labour Party is a price worth paying for avoiding a Corbyn Gov.

  • Goose

    Moves now afoot, according to the Guardian, to ‘deselect’ Chris Williamson.

    This is idiotic, Chris Williamson is the one campaigning for UK-wide open selection.

    Anti-democratic forces at all levels, including MSM (BBC and guardian) and PLP and CLP are assembling in an attempt to remove a very good man who merely wants to democratise the Labour party and put power in the hands of local members over GE candidate selection.

    To Derby North’s CLP you can only plead, don’t go along with this witch hunt BS, Chris is fighting for the entire membership’s rights.

    • Ken Kenn

      Notwithstanding the alleged anti -semitism garbage Chris Williamson made the unthinkable ( to The PTB ) error of knocking on the Integrity Initiatives door.

      Mentioning it in Parliament was even more of a Cardinal Sin.

      The fact that the alleged journalists didn’t run with the story but will run with all other anti Corbyn stories speaks volumes.

  • Deb O'Nair

    Try googling “Labour antisemitism examples”, or any derivation. One would expect there to be a raft of examples considering how much attention the media give to these accusations. Most of the “examples” I have seen have been clumsily worded criticism of Zionism and Israel, or outright misrepresentation. I am sincerely interested in finding examples of Labour antisemitism, especially on social media, where even Toby Young’s 10 year old deleted Tweets can be seen. If anyone knows where such examples can be viewed please post a link.

    • Goose

      The MSM run stories with titles like : Antisemitism storm; Williamson’s antisemitism remarks; Labour in new storm over antisemitism. Labour tears itself apart in row over antisemitism …. usually with Tom Watson et al fanning the flames by issuing dire warnings about the party facing an ‘existential crisis’ etc.

      The MSM are deliberately trying to create the impression something truly shocking has been said. It’s a completely diabolical manufactured, confected story wuith no substance whatsoever. One that Labour members shouldn’t forgive or forget.

      At the same time as this bollocks is all over the news headlines, a poll has come out showing 43% of Tory members would never accept a Muslim Prime Minister, a finding that has had no media coverage.

    • Ingwe

      Deb O’Nair- yes; Hodge, Smeeth, Phillips et al repeatedly refer to the vile anti-Semitic tweets etc that they allegedly receive. Yet one asks to (a) see the tweets to examine whether it could possibly be anti-aemtic or (b) it’s from a Labour Party member, they can’t produce. As someone on their level is fond of saying “it’s fake news!” It will be great when Hodge, Smeeth, Phillips Mann etc are deselected. Then they can join the Tories or the LibDems, their natural political homes.

      • Goose

        Ingwe

        Luciana Berger spoke emotionally about the online abuse she’d received and to be fair, some of it was truly vile. However, she didn’t correct the impression created by the Daily Mail, that it was coming from Corbyn supporters. The truth is, it was coming from the far right and a person who wasn’t even a Labour party member.

        She never sought to make this clear in any interviews I’ve seen her give, and none of her colleagues(fellow Labour MPs ) did either.

      • Goose

        Ingwe

        Would the Lib Dems even want that lot? A mixture of angry feminist ultras and antisemitic witch hunt leaders.

        It’s rumoured Luciana Berger is to join the Lib Dems and stand for them in Finchley in London. As one LD party member put when her joining of the party was being mooted : ‘everywhere she goes she seems to find antisemitism, how long until we are all accused?’.

        Just read about Jenny Tonge, Baroness Tonge former Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Richmond Park in London and her comments. No doubt plenty there for Luciana to be outraged by.

    • pete

      I too have sought for examples of Labour party members anti-Semitic remarks. This site gives examples of remarks that might be characterised as anti-Semitic: http://david-collier.com/antisemitic-jenny-tonge/
      The only problem with them is that I can’t see any statements that have come from Labour party members. Even then some of the remarks seem to be badly worded criticisms of the behaviour of the Israeli military against Palestinians, rather than of Jewish people as such. It surely must be within the bounds of legitimate free speech to criticise a disproportionate response to social unrest within a subgroup of a nation, as is the case of the Palestinian people in Israel. That is what is at the heart of this matter and that is what the Antisemitism accusations seeks to obscure. That is what the Israeli government needs to address with some meaningful negotiations.

      • Goose

        The names of those outraged over the party’s alleged antisemitism often overlap with Corbyn’s fiercest critics from 2015-2017 before antisemitism was even mentioned. Corbyn became leader in Sept 2015 and fought a general election in 2017 without a mention of it in the party, look at the 2017 GE TV interviews and TV debate – do you think they wouldn’t have raised it had it been ‘institutional’ as people have absurdly claimed?

        The RW of the Labour party couldn’t attack him on policy, because his policies had proved popular in that election (2017), so these AS accusations came forth: wave after wave of them; replete with old pictures of him laying wreaths for the PLO victims of an Israeli bombing, and old footage of him suggesting someone didn’t get irony – a fair comment given the people in the audience were shouting down a Palestinian who didn’t have a right to return, when they as Jewish UK citizens, did. And an old video of him saying Israel could be responsible for something or other, on Iran TV.

        It’s the most despicable smear campaign in UK political history and it says much about all those involved in it.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Goose June 30, 2019 at 01:09
          ‘..It’s the most despicable smear campaign in UK political history and it says much about all those involved in it..’
          Exactly, but one could hardly expect better from apologists and ‘Friends’ of Israel’s murderous activities against Palestinians, a true ‘Crime Against Humanity’.

  • Goose

    Tonight’s Guardian headline :

    Labour MPs tell Jeremy Corbyn: get a grip or lose a general election.

    As if any of these centrist Blairite dullards know what it takes to win an election. They sat on their hands awaiting the impending electoral apocalypse in 2017’s campaign. Most looked visibly upset when Labour got 40% and May emerged without a majority. Cobyn carried them to bigger majorities with his lone campaigning and radical pledges on tuition fees in the well-received manifesto.

  • Dave

    Although the claim that senior civil servants have allegedly been briefing against Corbyn is shocking, the response should have been to rubbish the story, because presumably senior mandarins are not doctors who have examined him, so how would they know?

    • Jo1

      I agree with Corbyn that the head of the Civil Service must announce a full investigation into the matter. Corbyn is absolutely right that we should all be concerned that senior people in the Civil Service are attempting to smear any politician.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Dave
      June 29, 2019 at 23:52
      “Although the claim that senior civil servants have allegedly been briefing against Corbyn is shocking…”

      Why so – do you believe the myth that most senior British civil servants are Tory – and not Conservative ( i.e. in the political party sense of the word “Conservative)?

      • Dave

        Civil servants have a duty of impartiality, but are often partisan in carrying out their duties whether on behalf of political leadership or Deep State, but to actually brief the press about a politicians health is shocking because it makes no sense particularly as they are unqualified to do so (not doctors) and the politician’s health can be observed by the public. I.e. Its a bit like an unqualified person being anonymously quoted saying someone who is observably healthy, isn’t healthy. Its a rubbish story, but standard fare.

  • Twirlip

    Reference tweeted by Michael Rosen (https://twitter.com/MichaelRosenYes/status/1145084632750350337):

    https://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/574065/Margaret-Hodge-hypocrisy-STEPHEN-POLLARD-Lichtenstein-Disclosure-Facility
    STEPHEN POLLARD: Margaret Hodge’s foul hypocrisy just beggars belief | Express Comment | Comment | Express.co.uk
    (Fri 1 May 2015)

    The article (whose tone is admittedly quite shrill, as befits the Express) concludes:

    “Mrs Hodge is not the first and will not be last politician to say one thing and do another. But the sheer grubbiness of her brand of hypocrisy leaves a stench that makes others look almost admirable.”

    Equally, the stench of what she’s doing right now must surely overpower that of anything she’s done before – unless there are some other corpses in her closet, of course.

  • Anthony

    Corbyn will never be tolerable to moderates so long as he advocates peace. Their attitude is spelt out again in today’s Guardian’s commentary on Trump’s historic meeting in North Korea:.

    ‘Devastating analysis from Victor Cha, a professor at Georgetown university, who calls this “reality TV” and “faked diplomacy” that gives US, South Korea and North Korea “trivial domestic kudos while legitimizing the [human rights] abusing/nuke regime'”.

  • Clive p

    I’m not sure that the “Corbyn is too old and ill to be PM” slur does come from senior civil servants. They have very little contact with political journalists. It seems more likely to have been done by the usual suspects in the party who want to undermine Corbyn. To make it look less like internal squabbling they will have told journalists they’d heard it from a “a very reliable source in Whitehall” whose name they could not possibly reveal. The MSM then leap on it as it is just what they want to hear.

    • Jo1

      I agree with Corbyn that the head of the Civil Service must announce a full investigation into the matter. Corbyn is absolutely right that we should all be concerned that senior people in the Civil Service are attempting to smear any politician.

      • Borncynical

        Jo1
        You mention the head of the Civil Service. This position was given at the request of Theresa May – and without any competition – to Sir Mark Sedwill who, as can be seen from the Wikipedia link, has an interesting career background. He is the first Cabinet Secretary whose career has been dominated by diplomatic and security work.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Sedwill

        An Oxbridge man, he is also the UK’s National Security Adviser (NSA), and President of the Special Forces Club.

        In an interview with Civil Service Quarterly, Sedwill said that retaining his post [as NSA] would also ensure a “genuine sense of teamwork across and beyond Government”. An interesting perspective on his perceived role. His Wikipedia entry also includes a photograph of an official meeting he had in March 2019 with Mike Pompeo. Now, none of us needs reminding what it was Pompeo remarked about Corbyn.

    • Phil

      Sedwill will have contact with political journalists.

      I am sure he will be quite happy to investigate, and find nothing.

  • remember kronstadt

    Not a mischievous question – is the SNP prepared for the remainer backlash in the event of winning an independence vote? BREXIT doesn’t augur well…

  • Tom

    The Corbyn stories are just the last straw for me with the mainstream media. If they are willing to lie about opposition politicians in a manner that which would have embarrassed Mugabe’s Zimbabwe I don’t see why I should waste my time reading anything else they write. So many others stories recently have been an obvious pack of lies too, with the Johnson incident, Skipral and their constant fawning to the Royals (I wonder what they get in return for their corruption?).

    • Republicofscotland

      A bit of sabre rattling there in defence of Ukraine, meanwbile I’m sure I heard that Trump has sent more stealth bombers to the ME.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Republicofscotland June 30, 2019 at 14:47
        These multi-million dollar aircraft are as ‘Stealthy’ as an elephant in the room to WWII-era radar frequencies, as the super-modern US ‘Stealth’ drone recently found out over Iranian airspace. Their B52’s are not likely to fare better, even in ‘stand-off” mode, if the shtf.

        • Republicofscotland

          It could be a stealthy build up of military hardware, with the intention of a strike by goading Iran into attacking US military drones, or ships etc. Remember the build up before they attacked Afghanistan?

          Apparently the president of Iraq Barham Salih, has said he will not let Iraq be used as a staging post by the Great Satan to attack Iran.

          Of course there are plenty of other ME acolytes that will allow US sorties to leave from their bases to bomb Iran.

          • michael norton

            The F35B’s range on internal fuel at around 900 nautical miles,
            so from Akrotiri all of Lebanon/Syria is within its operational capacity but Iraq might be too far for our F-35B’s to deploy weapons, they can have drop-tanks but this would render their invisibility non-operative, also reducing the weapons pay-load.
            So from Akrotiri, some of Greece, some of Turkey, some of Egypt, some of Iraq,
            all of Jordan, Israel, Lebanon & Syria

          • michael norton

            So the although Penny tells us F-35B aircraft are now active from RAF Akrotiri
            they cannot be operational from Cyprus to Iran.

  • Goose

    Since it’s in the news and Corbyn raised the subject at PMQs. A very interesting below article on the situation Yemen from a Turkish blog.

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/gwynne-dyer/yemen-the-bigger-lie-138280

    It lays out how much of the UK’s justifications for involvement are bogus.

    Quote:

    ‘Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen is really about putting its own placeman, Hadi, back into power. He is ‘internationally recognized’ (although his mandate ran out four years ago), but that’s no great accomplishment. Even Saddam Hussein was ‘internationally recognized’.

    Notice how Theresa May always states it is trying to uphold democracy and put the ‘internationally recognized’ leader back into power.

    • Goose

      Noticed it’s from October 26 2018, but still highly relevant. If anyone is interested and you wisely don’t trust clicking links… copy and paste it.

      It begs the question; why can’t our MSM give present these facts? This sort of stuff used to be meat and drink for the Guardian before Kath Viner.

      Basically, it appears we are being fed a pack of lies about Yemen: alleged Iranian involvement and the struggle to put its president back into power.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Goose June 30, 2019 at 14:13
        How long is it since we were told the truth about any war (or even that we are engaged in one, sometimes), the Spanish Armada?

        • Goose

          It’s only a brief summary setting out the origins of the most recent, and sadly ongoing conflict there and the various actors involved, but it’s a good concise one.

          I’d wager very few parliamentarians in the UK know the basic information contained within it. Hell, I reckon some MPs couldn’t even point to Yemen on a map, and yet they support continued UK military backing for the Saudi onslaught.

  • remember kronstadt

    manoeuvres for standing, sic, navies are cheap as chips but presents opportunities for third party meddling that could be very costly. US seems to be concentrating on unconventional wars (having mostly failed at shoot outs), nevertheless always looking for a pretext…

  • nevermind

    The wedge is in the door. It seems that Ecuador is not getting much credit out of letting Julian Assange’s private property disappear into US hands, or for letting him get arrested ending up in a high security prison without a reasoned or evidence based charge.

    Looks like Ecuador has no idea what happened to the pristine environment of Diego Garcia after they were allowing it to be used as a base for bomber attacks on all and sundry.
    Ecuador is our bitch brother now, doing anything for the sanctioning US chaot’s.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-48663283?fbclid=IwAR0_Gs694BFx0oAvf73jhV7FZ5yriwCncbe8Y5gr2P_UNW7yY9f-SIvswWs

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